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Say What Now? Man Finds iPhone that Likely Fell 16,000 Feet from Alaska Airlines Plane that Made Emergency Landing


An Oregon man claims to have found an iPhone that fell out of the Alaska Airlines flight that made an emergency landing in the city on Friday after a large section of the plane blew out in mid-air.

via People:

Sean Bates shared images of the device on X Sunday, writing that he found it on the side of Portland’s Barnes Road.

In the post, he said the phone was “still in airplane mode with half a battery and open to a baggage claim for #AlaskaAirlines ASA1282.” 

“Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly intact!” he added.Barnes ended the post by noting that when he contacted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who is investigating the emergency, he was told it was the second phone from the flight to be found in the area.

A spokesperson for the NTSB confirmed to PEOPLE Monday that the iPhone Bates found was one of the phones collected that is likely from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, and has since been turned over to the airline.

“Certainly, this is very rare, to have any object flying out of the airplane at that altitude, 16,000 feet, and falling and remaining intact,” Dr. Hassan Shahidi, president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, tells PEOPLE. “And I think the investigators will have to take a hard look and ensure that that’s actually the phone from a passenger onboard.”

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In a video he shared to TikTok, Barnes went into more detail about what led him to make the discovery.

“Wanted an excuse to go on a walk this afternoon, and the NTSB had asked people to go and report anything that looks like it had been fallen out of the recent Alaska Airlines accident,” he says in the clip.

“I found a phone sitting on the side of the road that had apparently fallen 16,000 feet,” he continues. “And I was of course a little skeptical at first. I was thinking this could just be thrown out of a car, or someone dropped it while they were jogging. It was still pretty clean, no scratches on it, sitting under a bush, and it didn’t have a screen lock on it, so I opened it up and it was in airplane mode with a travel confirmation and baggage claim for Alaska 1282, so I had to go call the NTSB.”

In a news conference Sunday, NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy said a missing door plug that could be key in investigating what caused the blowout was found in the backyard of another Portland-area resident.

“I’m excited to announce that we found the door plug,” she said, identifying the resident as a school teacher named Bob.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 was on its way to California when it made the emergency landing in Portland.

The plane, a 65 Boeing 737-9 aircraft, had just departed for Ontario, California, from Portland when it “experienced an incident,” according to a news release from Alaska Airlines.

Photos and videos of the trip, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, obtained by Portland news outlet KPTV show a large section of the airplane’s fuselage missing, at one point with the night sky visible through the gap in the cabin, as well as passengers wearing oxygen masks.

“A part of of the plane flew off not even 20 min into our flight??” one passenger wrote over a clip from the flight shared with the outlet.

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“Everyone on the plane is okay,” she wrote over a later section of the video, adding, “Luckily there was no one seated next to” the portion that blew off.

According to Alaska Airlines, “this type of occurrence is rare,” and they are currently “investigating what happened.” They also temporarily grounded a portion of their fleet to perform maintenance checks.

Meanwhile our iPhones fall out of our pockets and crack into a thousand pieces.



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